I am an actress.
I understand the logic behind calling all us thespian type “actor” in order to make gender-blind casting the norm or to encourage equal pay and billing with our male colleagues, but I just feel more comfortable calling myself an actress. “Female Actor” is a clunky alternative and I doubt that the gentlemen within my profession would want to change their label to “male actor”.
Thing is, The Oscars, BAFTAs, Olivier’s, Tony’s and even the esteemed Peasley Mintinham Players still offer annual statuettes for the Best Actress categories and I don’t mind admitting that I’d like one of them. (Not a PMP one, though, ‘cos I made up that company although I was once nominated for “The Ilford Recorder Actress of The Year for my forgettable performance in “The Ghost Train.”)
I’m still optimistic enough to hope one day to at least get recognition at, say Cannes, perhaps in the category of “best supporting actress with warts and a limp” in Mike Leigh’s next film?
There is though a serious point here for still too many script-writers automatically designate such generic roles as solicitor, doctor, police sergeant etc as male. I’d love to play a judge and admonish a cheeky defence lawyer; I can say “objection sustained” in at least seven difference accents. Maybe there’ll be a court room scene in something grand like a Poliakoff television drama? Am happy to provide my own gavel.
Anyway, I only became an actress because of bed-pans and men’s bottoms: but that’s for another blog.